The Padres have agreed to a major league contract with right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney, Jon Heyman reports on Twitter. Rodney and the Friars had been said to be nearing agreement in recent days.
The deal includes a $2MM guarantee for the Octagon Sports client, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter links). He’ll receive a $1.6MM base salary, with a floating-value club option that comes with a $400K buyout.
The deal includes a complicated set of provisions for incentives and the option year, according to Lin (Twitter links). Rodney can earn $5MM annually in incentives. And the 2017 option price tag will be $2MM plus whatever incentive value Rodney reaches in 2016. For instance, if Rodney were to hit all incentives in the coming season, the option value would be $7MM (and his maximum earnings for 2017 would be $12MM, because that year’s incentives could still be reached as well).
Rodney, who’ll join San Diego for his age-39 campaign, seems in line for a chance at taking the save opportunities for the club. After dealing away quality arms in Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit, and watching Shawn Kelley depart via free agency, there’s a ton of uncertainty in the Padres’ pen.
The talented-but-unpredictable Rodney probably isn’t best characterized as a stabilizing presence, but he’ll certainly infuse some punch into the late-inning mix. If nothing else, he’s still delivering a blazing mid-90s fastball despite his age.
It’s hard to know what to expect out of the man with the big right arm and the tilted brim. He had one of the most dominating seasons in recent memory back in 2012; followed that up with two more strong overall campaigns (though he occasionally left fans on edge with his escape feats); and then imploded early last year in Seattle.
Certainly, 2015 presents two possible versions of Rodney at this stage of his career. With the Mariners, he put up 50 2/3 frames of 5.68 ERA pitching. A declining swinging strike rate (just 9.6% last year) left him with a relatively meager 7.6 K/9 to go with 4.4 BB/9 for the M’s. But he turned it on after joining the Cubs late in the year. In twelve innings, he allowed just one earned run while striking out 15 batters and issuing only four free passes. And it bears noting, too, that Rodney still generates groundballs on about half of the balls put in play against him.